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Cano, Kemp to captain Derby teams

Cano, Kemp to captain Derby teams

The Yankees' Robinson Cano will be out to defend his State Farm Home Run Derby title this year in Kansas City as the American League team's captain, with the Dodgers' Matt Kemp set as his adversary and captain of the National League squad.

Cano set a new final round record with 12 home runs last season, while Kemp was the NL's 2011 home run leader. The 2012 State Farm Home Run Derby will take place July 9 at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City at 8 p.m. ET and will be televised on ESPN.

Last year, the AL beat the NL by a final tally of 76-19. Kemp and Cano will each select the other three participants on their respective teams, and they will personally extend the invitations. Each captain will also select a charity of his choice they will be hitting for in the Derby.

State Farm and Major League Baseball will donate $150,000 to the wining captain's charity, $100,000 to Boys & Girls Club of America in the name of the winning captain and $25,000 in the name of the losing captain. Both Kemp and Cano have been supporters of the Boys & Girls Club, including participating in public service announcements.

Cano, who joined Ryne Sandberg (1990) as the only other second baseman to win the competition, has eight home runs this season, and he has three seasons of at least 20 homers with the Yankees. Kemp, who hit 39 last season, will also be making his second Derby appearance. He is tied for sixth among NL hitters with 12 long balls this year.

Cano said he probably would want Yankees teammate Curtis Granderson to be in his quartet, but named no other players. Kemp said he definitely will extend an invitation to Dodgers teammate Andre Ethier, but noted that it would depend on whether Ethier wants to participate. Kemp also said he would give serious thought to Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton.

Cano said he will have his father, former Astros pitcher Jose Cano, return for the sequel as his Derby pitcher. The elder Cano served up strike after strike as his son set a final-round record with 12 long balls at Chase field. Kemp said Rob Flippo, the Dodgers' longtime bullpen catcher and batting practice pitcher, will throw to him for the second consecutive year.

"We want to redeem ourselves after last year's Home Run Derby, and I especially want to redeem myself," Kemp said.

Joey Nowak is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter at @joeynowak.‬